THE ACTIVITIES of APEX Mining are not a factor for the landslide in Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro, an official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau XI said.
MGB XI said the massive landslide occurred outside the active mining site and is even vegetated.
“Yung active mine malayo siya sa site, and is 1 kilometer south of the landslide area,” Beverly Brebante, the bureau’s chief geologist, told the media.
Brebante clarified that the landslide was due to contributing natural factors such as the soil type, rain, and the nature of the slope. Nevertheless, the official said investigations are still underway to run after those responsible for the tragedy, if any.
The official stressed one of the factors includes the heavy rainfall the region experienced due to the shear line weather system and the trough of the low-pressure area since last month and the first week of February.
“During that time, prior to the incident, masyado na pong basa o saturated ang ating mga lupa and of course ‘pag ganyan na po ang kalagayan ng ating kalupaan, madali na po itong bumigay,” Brebante said.
Another contributing factor is the steep slope of the mountain and the variety of soil in the area, identified as volcaniclastic, which easily weathers and erodes.
She added that the structure of the area lies along the Philippine faultline which contributes to the weak soil. The official stressed there are no man-made mining-related activities such as small-scale mining in the area.
Based on the bureau’s report, the affected area is about 8.9 hectares covering the crown to the foot (where the landslide material ends).
DDO governor Dorothy Gonzaga requested the assistance of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to review the permits and compliance of mining firms after the Masara landslide.
She revealed during the situation briefing at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Panacan on Feb. 7 that illegal mining operations are still widespread in the province since the provincial government does not have control over them.
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